When It Feels Like Faith is Not Enough

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From the mind of a Bereaved Father

Sometimes, having faith is a struggle. Sometimes it feels like faith doesn’t even matter. We are taught our whole lives that as long as we have just a little faith, we can do impossible things. We are taught that God will give us the desires of our hearts if we only believe.

When we had Selah, we believed. We watched as she struggled. She was born at 27 weeks. That in itself shows that it was the beginning of a long, hard journey. We spent the majority of her time here on Earth living in the NICU at Mercy Hospital in St Louis.

Selah was allergic to breast milk, and had severe acid reflux. Her reflux was so bad that we had to bypass her stomach all together with her feeding tube sending the food directly into her intestines. On the few short bursts at home, we brought home a feeding pump for continual feed.

A blood test told us that she was missing data on her 2nd chromosome. Now, if there were deletions on her 3rd, then the diagnosis would have been clear. Third chromosome deletions show down syndrome. Second chromosome deletions are nearly unheard of. Doctors don’t know much about it except that the kids tend to have larger heads, and are a little behind educationally. (We recently had a chromosome array test done on my youngest son because he is yet to be diagnosed. I’ll let you know when we get the results.)

Every time we were able to go home, something sent us right back to the hospital.

Entire churches were praying for her diligently. We were praying for her diligently. Different speakers came to us during prayer meetings, and told us that God had plans to completely heal her from head to toe.

We believed. We believed with all our hearts.

Selah had started to get better. She got to come home with her feeding pump and a weekly visiting nurse. She was happy. She smiled more than any of our other children. She had begun eating from her bottle occasionally, and not vomiting it all back up. We saw the light at the end of the tunnel coming. Little did we know that the tunnel was actually a stairway to Heaven.

On the morning of December 10th, 2012, Selah passed away in the night. Autopsy couldn’t provide a conclusive answer. It wasn’t SIDS. Something caused it. They just couldn’t decide which thing did it.

You see, Selah contracted the flu from a child in the church nursery. She had a bleed on her brain. There were hystocites on her brain stem. The list was extensive.

When we found her, we began to pray. We called everyone. The EMS personnel began CPR.

We believed.

I have already told you the result of our belief.

So here we stand today.

I struggle with the purpose of faith. I struggle with finding out who God is. I believe in God. I’ve seen too much to not believe. I have seen miracles. I have seen the supernatural. I believe God exists.

I just don’t trust Him like I used to in the past.

My faith has been completely wrecked. It has been torn to shreds.

This passed week, we received a call from a friend of ours. Her son was found at death’s due to unforeseen circumstances that will remain their business.

My father dropped me off at the door to the hospital, and said to me, “I want you to begin praying as soon as you walk into the hospital. Speak life, and rebuke death.” I didn’t answer my father. I didn’t tell him the things that were racing through my mind.

Why? What’s the point in activating my faith when God is going to do what He wants anyway? If He wants him to live. He’ll live. If He doesn’t, he won’t. What I want has nothing to do with it.

I still prayed, but God knows my heart. That’s what the Bible says. He knows the bitterness within. I prayed for life. I prayed he’d get the chance to speak to his family; that they’d get some answers. He still passed, and my heart sank.

My faith was wrecked even more.

This is the honest and completely raw look at my heart. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an atheist. I’m not a satanist. I still attend church. I still pray, and read my Bible. I still know that God is ultimately good. I teach my kids all the lessons and devotions I know.

Just right now, I struggle with trusting Him completely. I’ve given Him all before, and He absolutely took it. I’m lost in understanding. I’m lost in the, “Why?”

This is just where I’m at right now. God willing, that darkness fades. But I promised to be completely honest with you.

How do you feel right now? What is the honest, raw look at your heart?

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8 Responses

  1. Aradhana says:

    Faith is the only thing that connects us with God. But once it’s lost it takes time to get it back again.

  2. Brittany says:

    Even the disciples’ faith was tested. They had been with Jesus for 3 years and heard Him teach about why He was there. Yet, even after He died they still questioned. But praise the Lord, He lives!

  3. Ashley says:

    Death almost never makes sense. It is always too soon. I am so sorry for your loss.

  4. I am so sorry you are going through this. One scripture that always helps me in faith crises is Proverbs 3:5-6Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

    5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
    and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    6 In all thy ways acknowledge him,
    and he shall direct thy paths.

    And….

    Isaiah 55:8-9King James Version (KJV)

    8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

    9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

  5. jhilmil says:

    This was such an emotional read, so sorry for 2 kids who went through the worst happenings and left their family. Usually such instances leave us with a shaken faith in God. We feel what these innocent beings had done that God gave them this destiny? If this was t happen that soon why did God brought them in this world? But God’s ways are still unknown and I can so very well relate with your current situation. Hope things slowly go back yo normal.

  6. Shell says:

    Joseph my heart goes out to you and your family… I understand those feelings of doubt… that lost feeling that He has somehow let us down… My son is now 17 and yet somehow I still struggle with my faith…. He was born just over 30 weeks and we did did 3 months in NiCU. Then came home with heart monitors and when oxygen tanks… For a long time I felt that God had turned his back on me and my son and so I turned my back on him… It’s been a long hard process to open my heart again to the joys of letting the Lord into my heart and truly laying my burdens at his feet… but as I have felt led to do that… I feel the healing in my heart… it is not easy… I feel I can understand your point of view right now … I’m so very sorry for the loss you and your family endured and continue , my friend, to pray for you and your family…. I think you are so brave to open your self and share how you are feeling….

  7. I’m not religious, but I have faith. Faith in the universe, faith in people, faith in kindness. I hope it all works out, and I hope you can keep your faith.

  8. Dealman says:

    It is always too soon. I am so sorry for your loss.

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